UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje predictions
The UFC is in Jacksonville, observing COVID-19 protocols to present UFC 249.
The weigh-ins are over and only one fighter missed weight. Jeremy Stephens will likely be fined by the Florida State Boxing Commission but everything is social distanced and ready to go.
Except for Ronaldo Souza, who tested positive for COVID-19 last night. That means the Souza vs. Uriah Hall bout is gone.
That is a concern, although the Florida State Boxing Commission and the Mayor of Jacksonville continue to back the proceeding of UFC 249.
Fans will not be present at the arena.
Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.
UFC FGHT PASS PRELIM (6:00PM ET/3PM PT)
RYAN SPANN (17-5-0) VS. SAM ALVEY (33-13-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Alvey needs a win badly. Unforunately, he’s outgunned everywhere here except in smiling. Spann gets the finish.
Andrews Prediction: Ryan Spann via submission
BRYCE MITCHELL (12-0-0) VS. CHARLES ROSA (12-3-0)
Andrews: You heard Dana hype this one. The Bryce train continues here with another impressive submission.
Andrews Prediction: Bryce Mitchell via submission
#7 VICENTE LUQUE (17-7-1) VS. NIKO PRICE (14-3-0, 1NC)
Andrews: Price lost the first fight while he improves here, loses again. Luque drops the hammer.
Andrews Prediction: Vicente Luque via TKO
ESPN PRELIMS (8PM ET/5PM PT)
#7 CARLA ESPARZA (15-6-0) VS. #8 MICHELLE WATERSON (17-7-0)
Andrews: Esparza needs to get the fight to the ground here. Waterson should be able to pile up the points on the feet, enough to ground out the win.
Andrews Prediction: Michelle Waterson via UD
#12 ALEKSEI OLEINEIK (58-13-1) VS. FABRICIO WERDUM (23-8-1)
Andrews: Both guys are clever, but Werdum has the ego which has cost him against Miocic. Upset here, Aleksei knocks out Werdum!
Andrews Prediction: Aleksei Oleinik via TKO
#6 DONALD CERRONE (36-14-0) VS. #15 ANTHONY PETTIS (22-10-0)
Andrews: Does Cowboy have one more good one left in him? It has to be now. Pettis is dangerous still, but worn down. I think Cowboy returns for one more night.
Andrews Prediction: Donald Cerrone via UD
MAIN CARD (10PM ET/7PM PT)
GREG HARDY (5-2-0, 1NC) VS. YORGAN DE CASTRO (5-0-0)
Andrews: Hardy needs to make a statement and right now.
Andrews Prediction: Greg Hardy via TKO
#7 JEREMY STEPHENS (28-17-0, 1NC) VS. #9 CALVIN KATTAR (20-4-0)
Andrews: Stephens missed weight. Advantage Kattar. He should be able to outstrike Stephens.
Andrews Prediction: Calvin Kattar via UD
#2 FRANCIS NGANNOU (14-3-0) VS. #6 JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK (10-0-0)
Andrews: Tough one to call. Either fighter can win it, but I see Ngannou getting caught rushing in.
Andrews Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik via TKO
HENRY CEJUDO (15-2-0) VS. DOMINICK CRUZ (22-2-0)
Andrews: If anyone can come back from a leg layoff from the announcer’s booth, it’s Dominick. But I think it will be too much. I don’t Dominick can hurt Henry, plus Henry is more active. Cejudo eventually scores more points to score a close decision.
Andrews Prediction: Henry Cejudo via UD
#1 TONY FERGUSON (25-3-0) VS. #4 JUSTIN GAETHJE (21-2-0)
Andrews: Can Tony stay away from the leg kicks and big shots? He usually gets caught with one tor two and it could be costly with Justin. But I think preparing for Khabib will give Tony an extra boost. He overcomes some dangerous shots from Justin and puts him away late in the championship rounds.
Andrews Prediction: Tony Ferguson via submission